The Gay Agenda
How The Conservative Religious Right Created a Lie
The "Gay Agenda" is but one of the many lies promulgated by radical religious political activists.
The Radical Religious Right has repeatedly referenced an article written by Michael Swift in 1987 at the request of the Gay Community News as satirical "proof" of the so-called "Gay Agenda". The article is titled "The Gay Manifesto".
One of the most notable examples of the religious right referencing this article is the video "Gay Rights, Special Rights", put out by Lou Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition. The video cites it with ominous music and pictures of children.
But when the religious right cites this text, they always omit the vital first line, which sets the context for the piece. In other words, every other version of this found on the net and in the literature of religious right political activists is part of the radical right's great lie about gay people.
"This essay is an outré, madness, a tragic, cruel fantasy, an eruption of inner rage, on how the oppressed desperately dream of being the oppressor."
In fact, a "shocked, so very very shocked" congressperson read the article in the Congressional Record in 1989. Funny thing, though, the opening disclaimer was deliberately omitted.
As recently as 1999, the Miami-Dade chapter of the Christian Coalition circulated a pamphlet called "The Gay Manifesto", claiming that it was taken from the Congressional record. They circulated the pamphlet as part of a campaign against a new human rights ordinance.
Funny thing ... what's printed in the pamphlet does not resemble what was written into the Congressional Record.
And the funniest thing of all.... the CC pamphlet just happens to be a direct quote (stolen without attribution) from reactionary CA congressman William Dannemeyer's 1989 book, "Shadow in the Land". Dannemeyer's "Gay Manifesto" is a complete fiction by his own admission in the book. It is a paraphrase of what he thinks a "Gay Agenda might be.
It's time for the religious right political activists to at least pretend to follow the 10 Commandments. One of them has something to say about lying and another has something to say about stealing.
Source: Miami Herald, (The Power of Vitriol, Liz Balmaseda 3/10/1999), (Letter to Editor, For Christian Coalition Honesty Is Not Best Policy, Joe Mursuli, Lisa Versace 4/25/1999)